From the Horse’s Mouth

What Evidence Do We Use?Horses mouth

Note: An overview of the evidence can be found here: Themes-12: Evidence. (Some items are repeated or extracted in what follows.) Another source of evidence can be found in Aspirations and Outcomes. More up-to-date information can be found on EU websites (https://ec.europa.eu/info/index_en and https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/eu-in-brief_en) and in EU Information, linked here.

A: Economy, Common Currency & Eurozone

Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (The Five Presidents Report – European Commission. 15 June 2015)

https://ec.europa.eu/priorities/publications/five-presidents-report-completing-europes-economic-and-monetary-union_en

The euro is more than just a currency. It is a political and economic project. …This common destiny requires solidarity in times of crisis and respect for commonly agreed rules from all members.”

Progress must happen on four fronts: first, towards
a genuine Economic Union …. Second, towards a Financial Union …Third, towards a Fiscal Union …
And finally, towards a Political Union …”

All four Unions depend on each other. Therefore, they must develop in parallel and all euro area Member States must participate in all Unions.” (EU theorists appear to have calculated that it could start with a single, unstable union which would create a crisis that makes the other unions unavoidable; but key members are resisting and will probably not concede.)

The ultimate aim is to achieve similarly resilient economic structures throughout the euro area. This should lead to a new boost for jobs and growth with competitiveness and social cohesion at its core.” (The level playing field agenda is anti-competitive, the structures are fragile, growth and jobs are boasted rather than boosted.)

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK (Brussels, 21.10.2015)

On steps towards Completing Economic and Monetary Union

https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2015/EN/1-2015-600-EN-F1-1.PDF

The architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has been significantly strengthened over the past years to enhance economic governance and to achieve financial stability. Nevertheless, the EMU’s resilience needs to be further reinforced in order to re-launch a process of upward convergence…”

The “…convergence process would be made more binding through a set of commonly agreed benchmarks for convergence that could be given a legal nature” (Coercion is simpler than consent.)

B: Democracy, Subsidiarity & Union-Uniformity

From the Treaty on European Union (TEU):

Article 10: “The functioning of the Union shall be founded on representative democracy.” (But voters’ representatives cannot decide the functioning of anything.)

From the Five Presidents Report

“…greater democratic accountability, legitimacy and institutional strengthening… means and requires more dialogue, greater mutual trust and a stronger capacity to act collectively.” (Democratic accountability anywhere else would mean electors can dismiss their rulers, but not here.)

From State of the Union 2016 (Jean-Claude Juncker, 14 September 2016)

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/state-union-2016_en

Europe can only work if we all work for unity and commonality, and forget the rivalry between competences and institutions.”

From Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union presentation in September 2017

(Europe has worked for thousands of years, differences and rivalries have been the basis of innovation and advance as well as conflict. Commonality is not the best solution to conflict but leads to stasis, then decline, then perhaps to more conflict.)

I want our Union to have a stronger focus on things that matter…. We should not meddle in the everyday lives of European citizens by regulating every aspect. We should not march in with a stream of new initiatives or seek ever growing competences. We should give back competences to Member States where it makes sense.” (Agreed. But when will that start?)

To love Europe, is it [sic] love its nations. To love your nation is to love Europe.” This was among the more implausible claims Juncker made in 2018. The fragility of the Union is evident: if only everyone would get behind the rubric ‘Ever Closer Union’ they could double down on the solutions that have failed so far, clearly the patient needs a higher dose. “Member States have not yet found the right balance between the responsibility each must assume on its own territory; and the solidarity all must show…”

The EU declares (for example in Article 101 of the Draft EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement, November 2018) that the term “members of the institutions” does not include members of the European Parliament, so its ‘decisions’ can be easily disregarded.

 

C: Legal System and Courts

From the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 17: “Union legislative acts may only be adopted on the basis of a Commission proposal, except where the Treaties provide otherwise. Other acts shall be adopted on the basis of a Commission proposal where the Treaties so provide.”

(Only the Commission may propose legislation. Usually parliament gets a chance, here it can only use an expensive rubber stamp.)

From Negotiating directives for Article 50 negotiations:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/negotiating-directives-article-50-negotiations_en

The [Withdrawal] Agreement…provisions must include effective enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms that fully respect the autonomy of the Union and of its legal order, including the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union…”

In these matters, the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union…should be maintained. For the application and interpretation of provisions of the Agreement other than those relating to Union law, an alternative dispute settlement should only be envisaged if it offers equivalent guarantees of independence and impartiality to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

(So any alternative resolution must comply with what the ECJ demands.)

Regarding judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters between the United Kingdom and the EU27, the Agreement should ensure that the recognition and enforcement of national judicial decisions handed down before the withdrawal date remain governed by the relevant provisions of Union law applicable before the withdrawal date. The Agreement should also ensure the continued application of the rules of Union law relating to choices of forum and choices of law made before the withdrawal date.”

(Does ‘national’ here mean supra-national? And anything the EU decides in 2020 (or later if leaving is delayed again) will be imposed indefinitely on a disenfranchised UK? The EU chooses to ignore its own laws when it finds them inconvenient.)

D: Foundations, Governance & EU=Europe

Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union [TEU] and the Treaty on the Functioning of 
the European Union [TFEU]  (Official Journal of the European Union C202. 7 June 2016)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:C:2016:202:TOC

RESOLVED to continue the process of creating an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe

(This seems to be the overriding objective and worth taking big risks.)

The Union shall pursue its objectives by appropriate means commensurate with the competences which are conferred upon it in the Treaties.”

The Bratislava Declaration (16 September 2016)

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/future-eu/bratislava-declaration-and-roadmap/

In the aftermath of the wars and deep divisions on our continent, the EU secured peace, democracy and enabled our countries to prosper.”

(For closer union it is willing to forgo democracy, forget prosperity and risk contention between members.)

We are determined 
to find common solutions also as regards issues where we are divided; priority here and now to show unity and ensure political control over developments in order to build our common future

Create a promising economic future for all, safeguard our way of life and provide better opportunities for youth” (Empty promises but few opportunities, especially for youth.)

White Paper on the Future of Europe Reflections and Scenarios for the EU by 2025 (1 March 2017)

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/white_paper_on_the_future_of_europe_en.pdf

“…our thoughts are with those before us whose dream for Europe has become a reality.”

The Lisbon Treaty… has opened a new chapter of European integration that still holds unfulfilled potential.”

Many of the profound transformations Europe is currently undergoing are inevitable and irreversible.”

From Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union presentation in September 2017

When it comes to important single market questions, I want decisions in the Council to be taken more often and more easily by qualified majority…. We do not need to change the Treaties for this. There are so-called “passerelle clauses” in the current Treaties which allow us to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in certain areas – if all Heads of State or Government agree to do so.”

I am also strongly in favour of moving to qualified majority voting for decisions on the common consolidated corporate tax base, on VAT, on fair taxes for the digital industry and on the financial transaction tax.” (This confuses harmonisation with harmony.)

(The EU’s failures amount to a failure of every aim and value to which it aspires or claims to exhibit, except ever closer union (uniformity in practice): for example, relatively low average growth, high youth unemployment, severely limited prosperity, inadequate defence, subsidiarity ignored, lack of democracy, breaking treaty obligations.)

Relevant posts, by section:

A: Economy, Common Currency & Eurozone 

Themes-7: Economics-1 

Themes-8: Economics-2 

Themes-16: EMU-Euro 

Italy Missing the Target 

TLTRO Rugby 

B: Democracy, Subsidiarity & Union-Uniformity

Themes-15: Democracy

Themes-17: Unity and Unification

Themes-10: Breaking EU Rules

EU on Democracy

It’s the Ideology

C: Legal System and Courts

Law-abiding or Abiding-law? 

The World’s Favourite Law

Law or Order?

Law

What a Tangled Web They Weave

D: Foundations, Governance & EU=Europe

Themes-1: Politics

Themes-2: A Future for EU?

Themes-13: State of the Union

The Meaning of Life

Foundations

Law-making in Secret-2

 


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